When you don’t have a fuel gauge, you get tuned in to how many miles you can do on a tank.
My Hammer S usually gets around 125 miles before I fill up, returning 38mpg on a country roads blat – fairly respectable for a big engine like the Victory 1731cc lump.
Yesterday I used the Victory to visit Shaw Harley-Davidson for a road test, a 300-mile round trip from home. I filled up early on the first leg, and arrived at the dealership 120 miles later, expecting to fill up soon.
So when the tacho ticked past 130 miles, and then 140 without the light coming, I began to suspect a broken fuel light!
But it finally came on permanently at 150 miles (it comes on dimly and flickers intermittently when it’s just on the verge of dipping in to reserve) it confirmed that all was well – it was just managing astounding mpg!
I finally fuelled up after 167 miles, consuming 15.79 litre (3.47 gallons), equating to 48mpg! There was still 1.2 litres to use too – giving me another 12 miles of range if I was stupid enough to run dry.
Frankly, that’s amazing – it shows the efficiency a modern engine is capable of. I’m 6ft tall, weigh 13 stone 9lbs and rode the motorway sections at 80-85mph, and didn’t spare the throttle on the 30 or so miles across Sussex from the M25.
I reckon being more gentle along the country A roads, I could have pushed that over 50mpg too.
Other observations on a long ride were that comfort is tolerable – the windblast demands strong neck, shoulders and inner thighs (to prevent your legs splaying in the wind), but being a Fenland oaf I coped OK.
The seat is supporting, but the wind pushes you against the back of the seat, which leads to the back of your bum getting numb – not the bit you sit, which is odd. It’s no tourer, but it’ll handle a few miles once in a while.
I’m off to MCN Live at Butlins, Skegness on it later – I even got up early to clean it before I lead the Saturday rideout on it.
Come and say hello if you see me. Actually, just bring me a beer instead…
Staff bike blogs | Victory Hammer S blog